*Spoiler Alert: Run on sentences, impossible questions, and potential "WTF" moments will be scattered throughout this post. Also, after the jump, questions posed will be in italic script. And one more thing. This post is long. You've been warned.
As I'm lying awake at night from the frustration of arguing my opinions through my phone, and let's be honest, that in and of itself is frustrating enough, thoughts and questions of how this season will impact the next keep floating up like the rats in Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade. They're inescapable.
What happens if Cassel does well and we make the Playoffs this season? Will we draft a QB in 2013? Would Scott Pioli pull the trigger on a Falcon/Skins-esque type of trade to move us up the board to acquire our future? But what would that mean for us with Bowe, Dorsey, Albert, and possibly Jackson being on the line? What happens if we lose one, two, or all? How do we replace them if we tie up too many high picks in trying to obtain our QB of the future?
These are the thoughts that plague me on a daily basis. And by plague I'm talking bubonic. Because its running as rampant through my mind as the Black Death did in the Middle Ages.
"My genius is like lightning. One brilliant flash and its gone." - Woody Paige
I like to plan ahead, be a step in front of the gaffe of life, and I usually think before I speak. And then I grew up and got to the point where I realize some things you just can't plan for. Ask my Mom and Dad about how I came into existence. They won't split hairs, "We had sex. Nine months later, we had you. Right after we signed the adoption papers."
So I'm at that point in my life where I think to myself, "Eff it, I'm just gonna say what I'm thinking and see what happens." And while some might see that as a sign of proactively being yourself, others might see it as a sign of you being a retarded blowhard piece of excrement day ruiner. An injustice and a blight on humanity. I will try not to be an unjust piece of excrement, the rest is up for debate.
BJ Kissel recently posted a terrific article about Matt Cassel possibly being the starting QB for the 2013 season. And by all accounts I have to agree with him. I like a lot of what BJ had to say, and while I'm ready to acknowledge that Cassel will most likely be our starter for the next season, I disagree that Cassel is capable of taking us deep into the Playoffs, or being any more successful than he already has been.
More and more you have to have a team that is clicking on both sides of the ball at the right moment to make a deep run into the Playoffs. The Giants did it last year. The Packers the year before. Teams need to be great on offense and defense, with a quality QB under center that's capable of stepping up and being the crutch his team can lean on when the going gets tough.
Matt Cassel can win games. He can get us into the playoffs. Outside of that? Good question. Judging by our last sware' into the Playoffs he didn't look like a guy capable of shouldering the load. Or when Charles went down last season. Or when we fell behind by more than ten points against a good team. Or pretty much anytime he's had to play a perennial Playoff contentious team. Just my observations. He's done some good things, but in my mind Cassel is not the long term answer.
Question #1: So why would Cassel be our starter in 2013?
My question is why wouldn't he be? And given that the Chiefs are primed to be a team capable of making the playoffs in the 2012 season (I think we are anyway, and to me that is what's important), we will probably get there by Cassel delivering at the very least, decent QB play. Do you want to roll the dice on an unproven rookie or go with a guy that you know can deliver 10-11 games with a good squad around him? Logic depicts you go with the proven thing.
Question #2: If we draft a QB in the first round in 2013, shouldn't he be starting?
The answer? Only if you're team is picking Numero Uno (that's Number One in Espanol. Just trying to quell the opinions of me being a retarded blight on humanity here and save face by showing off my extensive knowledge and vocabulary skills. Impressed? That one is on the house).
This is one of the many complaints I see often here on AP. If we draft a QB in the first round, he better be our day one starter. I think that's an irrational line of thought and its not the way it always works in the NFL. Unless you're a newly appointed GM of a lackluster Franchise that needs a jolt of life (Jacksonville), or your QB suddenly retires (Carson Palmer), or your available starter is injured, old, and the only available QB's left to you are so bad you have no choice but to throw your season for the best prospect in years (Jim Irsay and the Colts), or you've been forced to waffle between two different guys and continually pick top ten every year (Redskins) then maybe your rookie QB should start. Unless you fit into this criteria though, I don't think a rookie QB should be starting right out of the gate.
Rookie QB's are prospects based on potential. There is no guarantee that despite being a first round pick they will develop into the next Manning or Rogers. The odds are better, but they are not definite. If Cassel can deliver another 10-11 win season, get us into the Playoffs (which we've seen him do), again, why would we start a rookie QB over him?
Question #3: Do we draft a QB in 2013?
This is the tough question. Why? Because we have a lot riding on 2012 and the offseason leading up to the 2013 Draft. Question marks abound. What do we do about Bowe? If we lose Bowe and trade up to get a QB, how do we replace Bowe?
What about Dorsey? If we let him walk, which could happen, how do we replace him? Same with Tyson Jackson. Do we restructure him? Cut him, keep him? Brandon Albert? Is Donald Stephenson his replacement? What happens if we have to pay a high price to get a QB? And by high price we're talking losing our first round picks for the next three years? Would we do it to take a chance on a guy that may or may not be an elite QB?
Let's go ahead and clear this up right now. It would appear, by all accounts, that the Chiefs are genuinely trying to distance themselves and move away from Dwayne Bowe. Money to me is the issue here.
The antics of the Bowe show, the stupidity and selfish nature he's shown don't hide the statistical value that Bowe represents on the field every game day. If you consider his work ethic, his body of work, and the level of play he's brought in just these past two seasons alone, Bowe is more than deserving of a contract. And a big one at that. The reason he hasn't been given one in my opinion boils down to cold hard cash, and money is the motivator.
Bowe is a guy that can help this team in major ways. But I would point out that we are moving to a two TE set. We prefer to pound the ball with an elite rushing attack, and emphasis on the WR I don't think will be as much of a priority this season as it was with the Todd Haley oriented offenses of years past.
Because of that fact, I think Bowe will be used as tradebait next year. I believe this season is a trial run for Jon Baldwin and Daboll's offense, and if they are both a success, I think Bowe becomes expendable. In which case we save money for our other needs and potentially get something out of Bowe, pick(s) wise, while setting ourselves up to make a move for a QB and seceding Bowe's role to his successor, Jon Baldwin.
This is a short one. No really, Dorsey is barely six feet tall. In the world of the 3-4 DE, that's pretty short. And to his credit, he's held up and done well. I'm torn on Dorsey. I like the man. He's a 4-3 DT playing a 3-4 DE and aside from the pass rush, its hard to complain about what he's been able to accomplish despite his disadvantage within the system he's forced to play in. One thing I have noticed though as the Chiefs progress under Scott Pioli, with Romeo Crennel's Defensive tastes becoming more apparent, is that size is becoming a premium.
We've steadily been getting bigger across the board along the lines, both on Defense and Offense. That in no way spells the writing on the wall for Dorsey. Out of the players up for new contracts this season though, I could see the Chiefs letting Dorsey test the open market before any of the others, if to at least determine his actual value, and then maybe resign him at the reduced rate.
Breaking this down, we could allow Dorsey to hit the market, use that to figure out his worth, and then resign him. Or we could lose him to Free Agency and replace him with Allen Bailey, who I think we are grooming for that purpose anyway. Again though, this is the importance of the 2012 season. Bailey must take the necessary steps to progress and show he's capable of handling that starting role. We also have Ropati Pitiotua, Poe, and Gordon that could step into that role as well. Poe? Yes, Poe. He's going to take time to develop as a NT, for now he will be filling a DE role to a degree which is apparent by looking at our current training camp.
*I want to pause for a minute to thank our sponser: GoldBund. Just in case your eyes have begun to itch and bleed from reading this post, GoldBund medicated aerosols are the fix-alls to anything eye related. Such as cataracts, viscus discharges, bleeding, herpes, black, blue, brown, green and all the colors in-between, retinal detachment (one shot of GB aerosol and that retina isn't going anywhere! Ever. Again.), temporary blindness, actual blindness (how do you think that Korean Archer won Gold at the Olympics this year?) and glaucoma! Get some today!
I don't buy into the idea that we drafted Donald Stephenson as a replacement of Albert. Sure we took a developmental OT in the third round, and I agree that was a bit high (but that goes along with our 2011 pick of Justin Houston...subtle humor there). In defense of this pick, we were grossly lacking depth at OT, with nothing outside of David Mims to back us up. So this pick worked for me, and no, I don't believe Stephenson will be replacing Albert anytime soon.
I also don't buy that Albert should be switched to LG either. Brandon has been a steady LT for us and I personally don't see how we can afford to let him slip away. To me, Albert will be retained, if not by season's end, at least before the Franchise Tag has to be used.
This really will be short. Jackson is due a lot of money next year. A lot. And I don't see the Chiefs ponying it up. To me Jackson is a pillar of our 3-4 DL currently, and while he lacks in the pass rush department, his value against the run keeps him in KC at a restructured rate. He was willing to restructure this season, I think he'll do it again, and in turn this time maybe with an extension as well. Either way, for me, I think T-Jax stays put.
In this scenario we have several things to think about heading into the 2013 offseason. Personally, my money is on us signing Albert longterm and locking up T-Jax with a team friendly contract extension. Matt Cassel will be our starting QB going into 2013, while Dwayne Bowe gets hit with the Franchise Tag once again. Glenn Dorsey will be lost to Free Agency.
If this culmination of events happens, the Kansas City Chiefs are in a prime position to trade up and select one of the four "great-to-elite" QB prospects entering the 2013 Draft. They are: Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson, Landry Jones, and Geno Smith. To me that list should be three, I don't care for Jones at all. I don't think he's first or second round material, but that's just my opinion.
With Bowe on the block (and I know we've heard this kind of situation before and it never pans out), we have more than just picks to package an offer for. A WR needy team (and needy in general) like Jacksonville, would be crazy not to listen to an offer involving picks and Dwayne Bowe. Contrary to popular belief, with the Franchise tag, we can entertain any trade offers we want.
I think this is the most relevant way for the Chiefs to move forward. I know many are upset with the Bowe situation. Whether you like him or not, I think we can all agree that a QB is indeed the biggest need/priority for this team moving forward. Talking with Steve here on AP yesterday, he mentioned we have a five year window of opportunity with the group of guys we currently have, and I agree with that assessment. Time waits for no one. The upcoming draft is stocked with QB talent and the time to make this move is now.
Never be a prisoner of your past. Be the Architect of your future. - Anonymous
We have quietly amassed a juggernaut of talent here in KC. I firmly believe that with the talent surrounding us, we are a genuine QB away from becoming post seasonal favorites. The AFC West is declining and the window for us to seize this opportunity is right in front of us. I hope we grab it by the throat and beat it like Paula Dean with a meat tenderizer.
Until next time,